Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Elbit brings new colour to head-up display

SOURCE FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL Elbit Systems is working on a new colour scheme for data presented by its ANVIS heads-up helmet-mounted display to help helicopter pilots keep their eyes on the outside world even in unusual situations. An improved colour scheme should also improve co-ordination between two crew members in combat situations.
Elbit chief test pilot Yosi Ron took Flight International on a 30min test flight from Herzliya airfield in central Israel aboard a Bell 206 to demonstrate the new system in its test configuration.
The critical feature is an eyepiece addition to the ANVIS helmet used on many helicopter types by several air forces, and what looked on the ground like a nice gadget to be worn over the right eye was useful when airborne.
All important flight data was displayed on the eyepiece as part of the outer-world picture: heading, speed, barometric altitude, radar altitude, pitch, roll and way points were displayed in different colours on the eye piece. When Ron brought the Bell 206 near to envelope limitations, the warnings were very clear on the eye piece display, with different colours according to prioritisation.

Elbit Systems ANVIS HUD, Elbit Systems
 © Elbit Systems
"We are working now on selecting the right colours for each displayed parameter showed on the new display," says Ron, who is working with other development team test pilots drawn from the Israeli air force's experienced helicopter cadre.
ANVIS can also present threat locations, derived from either a database or electronic warfare system operating in the area.
When the new, colour version of ANVIS is available, by the end of the year, Elbit will offer it with a tracker that measures the pilot's line of sight in relation to the helicopter heading.
This feature has the advantage of relaying direction data to a crew member using a system like a forward-looking infrared in a search and rescue mission. Verbal explanations of direction, by contrast, can in stress situations be time consuming and even confusing.
The ANVIS system can also slave a turreted gun to the pilot's line of sight.
Pinny Fishel, senior director helicopters upgrade business at Elbit, says the eyepiece system is possible owing to lighter-weight computers and flat panel display technology in place of the old CRT system.
According to Fishel, pilot's head trackers are gaining popularity among helicopters users. They have been installed on the Israeli air force's Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks and on Mil Mi-24s used by Macedonia, and are in use by British armed forces.

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